The Spelevo exploit kit (EK) abuses a vulnerability affecting Flash Player to infect users with samples of the Maze ransomware family.

Security researcher nao_sec, who was the first to publicly report the new Maze ransomware campaign, noted that it redirects users to Spelevo, according to Bleeping Computer. The exploit kit attempts to abuse CVE-2018-15982, a use-after-free vulnerability, within the browser to specifically target users of Flash Player versions 31.0.0.153 / 31.0.0.108 and earlier. If it finds a vulnerable user, Spelevo exploits the weakness and leverages arbitrary code execution to install Maze on the user’s computer.

Upon successful infection, the ransomware sample analyzed by Bleeping Computer began scanning the computer for interesting files, including documents and photos. It then used RSA encryption and the ChaCha20 stream cipher to encrypt all the files it could find before dropping a ransom note into every folder containing affected data. The note instructed victims to visit a website hosted on the Tor network for payment instructions.

Tracking the Evolution of Spelevo

Spelevo is a relatively new cyberthreat that is still evolving. Researchers at Malware-Traffic-Analysis.net first spotted the exploit kit in March 2019. At the time, the threat was using Flash-based exploits.

Around the same time, Fox-IT observed Spelevo distributing PsiXBot, a modular piece of malware.

In June, Cisco Talos conducted a deep dive into Spelevo’s activity and found that the exploit kit was primarily targeting vulnerable users with banking Trojans such as IcedID and Dridex.

How to Defend Against the Maze Ransomware Campaign

Security professionals can help their organizations defend against Maze ransomware borne by exploit kits such as Spelevo by connecting their comprehensive vulnerability management solutions to their security information and event management (SIEM), networking monitoring and patch management tools to help streamline the response to new security bugs. Additionally, security teams should craft a patch management strategy that espouses thoughtful prioritization and collaboration among different teams.

More from

New Attack Targets Online Customer Service Channels

An unknown attacker group is targeting customer service agents at gambling and gaming companies with a new malware effort. Known as IceBreaker, the code is capable of stealing passwords and cookies, exfiltrating files, taking screenshots and running custom VBS scripts. While these are fairly standard functions, what sets IceBreaker apart is its infection vector. Malicious actors are leveraging the helpful nature of customer service agents to deliver their payload and drive the infection process. Here’s a look at how IceBreaker…

Operational Technology: The evolving threats that might shift regulatory policy

Listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you find your favorite audio content. Attacks on Operational Technology (OT) and Industrial Control Systems (ICS) grabbed the headlines more often in 2022 — a direct result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparking a growing willingness on behalf of criminals to target the ICS of critical infrastructure. Conversations about what could happen if these kinds of systems were compromised were once relegated to “what ifs” and disaster movie scripts. But those days are…

Cybersecurity 101: What is Attack Surface Management?

There were over 4,100 publicly disclosed data breaches in 2022, exposing about 22 billion records. Criminals can use stolen data for identity theft, financial fraud or to launch ransomware attacks. While these threats loom large on the horizon, attack surface management (ASM) seeks to combat them. ASM is a cybersecurity approach that continuously monitors an organization’s IT infrastructure to identify and remediate potential points of attack. Here’s how it can give your organization an edge. Understanding Attack Surface Management Here…

Six Ways to Secure Your Organization on a Smaller Budget

My LinkedIn feed has been filled with connections announcing they have been laid off and are looking for work. While it seems that no industry has been spared from uncertainty, my feed suggests tech has been hit the hardest. Headlines confirm my anecdotal experience. Many companies must now protect their systems from more sophisticated threats with fewer resources — both human and technical. Cobalt’s 2022 The State of Pentesting Report found that 90% of short-staffed teams are struggling to monitor…